We've talked before in this space about ability to come back.
Well the brand new CBS News/New York Times Poll shows Barack Obama has now jumped out to a double digit lead. Is this too much to overcome?
Harry Truman was in similar straights once upon a time, and the happy warrior Hubert Humphrey almost closed such a gap with Richard Nixon.
With the economy in dire straights it's hard to hear much of which either campaign has to say.
Among McCain's opponents in this election is the Republican Party. Much as he paints himself as the maverick, he is viewed by many to be part of the republican establishment.
Polls show record amounts of Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction.
With the amount of bad news that cascades through the media these days, it would be just about impossible for a candidate from the incumbent party to get elected.
Which brings us to the debate, what does John McCain do to turn the tide. Is there anything he can do?